Bob Goodlatte: Unlocking North American energy

bob-goodlatte-afp2To build or not to build? That seems to be the lingering question in the White House when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s been more than four years since the application for the pipeline’s permit was originally submitted, yet construction remains blocked.

The proposed 1,700 mile pipeline would bring oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries in the United States, helping to reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. Construction of the pipeline would create 20,000 jobs with the potential to create more than 100,000 spin-off jobs. TransCanada, the company seeking the permit to build the pipeline, estimates they would spend $7 billion alone in the United States to construct Keystone XL.

The list of reasons why this project should be given the green light continues to grow. A draft environmental study released just a few weeks ago by the State Department found no reason to continue delaying the project. And a recent survey found that 70 percent of Americans support building the pipeline. It’s not just Republican support. This includes 57 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Independents.

The question remains: How much longer will American jobs and energy security have to wait?

It’s difficult to argue that a project like Keystone XL that creates thousands of American jobs, is environmentally sound, and increases energy supplies is not in the best interest of our country.

If the White House won’t approve the permit, I’ve signed on as a cosponsor of the Keystone for a Secure Tomorrow Act that would allow Congress to directly and immediately approve the long-awaited Keystone XL permit.  I will continue to push for the approval of this project and work to promote proposals that will seek to lessen our reliance on energy from less than friendly nations and result in lower energy prices for consumers to make America stronger.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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